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Cold and Flu Center

How to Stop a Dry, Tickling Cough

author image Julie Hampton
Julie Hampton has worked as a professional freelance writer since 1999 for various newspapers and websites including "The Florida Sun" and "Pensacola News Journal." She served in the U.S. Army as a combat medic and nurse for over six years and recently worked as the Community Relations Director for a health center. Hampton studied journalism and communications at the University of West Florida.
How to Stop a Dry, Tickling Cough
Drink hot tea or apple cider to soothe a tickling, itchy cough.

A dry tickling cough causes unwanted irritation throughout the day. A persistent cough interrupts school, work and even a good night’s rest, and may be associated with sinusitis, asthma, bronchitis or other underlying conditions. A variety of home remedies and over-the-counter medications bring relief to your cough. If your cough lasts longer than 10 days, visit a medical doctor.

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Step 1

Drink fluids throughout the day to prevent throat irritation and thick mucus. Include hot fluids, such as teas, lemon water or broths, in your fluid intake, and inhale the steam created by the hot beverage while drinking. Carry a water bottle throughout the day as a reminder to drink liquids. Liquids will loosen phlegm and mucus in your throat.

Step 2

Add honey to your hot beverages or take it by the spoonful. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, honey is as effective as a cough medicine. Do not give honey to children under the age of 1.

Step 3

Add humidity to your home. Turn on a humidifier in common areas such as a bedroom or living room. Take a hot shower; breathing in the moist air will soothe your dry tickling cough. Stay in the shower until the mirrors have fogged up.

Step 4

Breathe in moist air directly by steaming your face. Boil a pot of water. Place the pot on a table and place your face about 8 to 12 inches from the surface. Cover your head with a towel to create a tent and trap the moist air. Relax and inhale the steam. Add a few drop of eucalyptus oil to the water for an aromatherapy effect.

Step 5

Suck on cough lozenges or hard candies throughout the day. Never give children cough drops or hard candy to children under the age of 3, advises

Step 6

Take a cough suppressant to fight a dry cough or expectorant to fight a wet cough, recommends the University of Maryland Medical Center. Consider taking decongestants if your cough is due to postnasal drip. Do not take decongestants more than three days to prevent “rebound congestion.”

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